Pharrell introduced us to R&B songstress Leah LaBelle and pop-rocker Maxine Ashley earlier this year. Now the music mastermind brings us some hip-hop from the West Coast with his i am OTHER signee Buddy.
The 17-year-old Compton rapper flaunts his skills on the breezy Pharrell-produced “Inspired,” which will appear on his upcoming mixtape Idle Time.
He’s already received a co-sign from Justin Timberlake. “This kid is the truth!” tweeted the pop superstar.
Pharrell discovered her on YouTube. Jermaine Dupri co-signed her. And now Leah LaBelle is gearing up for the release of her i am OTHER/So So Def/Epic Records debut, due later this year. The Seattle songstress sat down with Rap-Up TV in Beverly Hills to chat about her album, love for Lauryn Hill, and her encounter with Jay-Z.
“The album is just a really good, feel-good album,” said the “Sexify” singer, who got her first taste of stardom on “American Idol.” “It makes you happy, it makes you want to dance. It’s gonna remind you of the good times.”
The project was produced entirely by her superstar mentors, who both rap on the J.D.-produced “100%.” “It’s a real talk song, a lady talking about I’m gonna love you and I’m down for you,” explained Leah, who cites Lauryn Hill as her “biggest inspiration.”
“She really set the road for me for who I wanted to be as an artist,” said Leah of the Fugees frontwoman. “Even to this day, I’m still Lauryn Hill all day.”
While she doesn’t get starstruck easily, she was in awe while meeting Jay-Z during his studio session with Pharrell. She witnessed the hip-hop icon record a song and even got his feedback on her music. “He shook my hand and he was like, ‘Congratulations, this is some good stuff.’”
Pharrell was celebrated by his peers at the 25th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards on Friday. Before accepting the Golden Note Award, Rap-Up TV caught up with the man of the hour on the red carpet.
With his production partner Chad Hugo and i am OTHER artist Leah LaBelle by his side, the Neptunes hitmaker revealed some of his projects in the pipeline including Mary J. Blige, Miguel, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z.
When asked about his work with the Roc Nation mogul, he would only say, “I’m sworn to secrecy.”
He did, however, have plenty to say about his protégée Leah. “She’s incredible,” gushed Pharrell. “We couldn’t believe it and when we chased it down and when we finally talked, it was like, ‘Cool.’ And she sings her ass off.”
Pharrell was honored with the Golden Note Award for his extraordinary contributions to music at the 25th Annual ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in Beverly Hills on Friday. Following congratulatory messages from his collaborators including No Doubt, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris, and Pusha T, the humble hitmaker accepted the award with his parents, protégée Leah LaBelle, and fellow Neptunes producer Chad Hugo by his side.
“When Chad and I first started out, we never thought it was gonna turn into any of this,” said the N.E.R.D. frontman, who also acknowledged his fellow honoree Quincy Jones. “Quincy Jones is everything that every producer wants to be when we grow up. … I only aspire to have the music that Chad and I make one day stand somewhere near his music and his work.”
Pharrell and Jermaine Dupri stopped by “106 & Park” on Friday to introduce their new artist Leah LaBelle. The Seattle songstress, who Pharrell discovered on YouTube, dished about her street chic look, sweet talking her way into an N.E.R.D. show to meet The Neptunes hitmaker, and her 16 tattoos.
She also dropped off the video for her debut single “Sexify.” “We wrote it based on Cosmopolitan cover titles, so it’s very girl-friendly, fun,” explained Leah. “The video’s a day in the life of a girl getting ready for a night out with your boy, your girls, or yourself.”
Justin Bieber even made a surprise appearance, offering some advice to Leah. “Make sure to keep family and friends really close to you because at the end of the day, those are the people that are gonna keep you grounded,” he said.
“You can’t be next forever,” sings Chester French on “Next Big Thing,” the opening track off their second album Music 4 TNGRS, available today. Pusha T and Pharrell help the pop duo reach their realization on the grungy electro record, which marks a departure from the retro-pop sound of their debut.
“It is a bittersweet meditation on our culture’s bottomless obsession with newness, nextness and youth,” D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey told Spinner. “Pharrell and Pusha T introduce two additional perspectives in their verses, and we’re honored to include them in this greeting to our listeners both new and old.”
Mac Miller finds the girl of his dreams on “Onaroll,” the first single off his collaborative EP with Pharrell, Pink Slime. The Pittsburgh rapper flows over the bombastic beat, produced by The Neptunes hitmaker. “She get good grades, suck good d**k, what more could you ask for?/ Big ol’ butt, love to f**k, what more could you ask for?” raps Miller. See how he rolls.